10 Great Mountain Bike Rides Around the Yakima Valley

Yakima Valley Mountain Biking Trails

10 Great Mountain Bike Rides Around the Yakima Valley

September 4, 2019

Photo Credit Mahre Media. Check out mountain biking clinics at Mahre Made.

Wondering where to ride? From one end of the Yakima Valley to the other, mountain bike enthusiasts find dozens of single-track trails for every riding level. Explore terrain ranging from high desert and shrub steppe to dense forests and subalpine vistas, all under Yakima’s reliably sunny skies. You have hundreds of miles of single-track mountain bike trails delivering exciting, challenging and scenic rides all around the Valley.

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy: There are many single track trails in this shrub steppe conservation area with unique landscape made up of sagebrush and grasslands, flowering meadows, oak woodlands and basalt cliffs.

  • Rocky Top Bring your mountain bike to the trails of Rocky Top, a high desert, shrub steppe area featuring tracks for beginners to the more experienced. This area is located just 10 miles from downtown Yakima with 17 trail heads and several miles of trails with mild gradients designed by mountain bikers. Try these trails when it is cooler in the evenings during the summer, especially in July and August and throughout fall. The trails are open for hikers also with one trail open for horseback riders.
  • Uplands Trails These trails are located on the rim of the canyon. There are options to go down into the canyon on very steep trails. The trail on the canyon floor is gravel. Most are loop trails, such as East and West Uplands, Radio Flyer and Summitview Trail. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on these trails.
  • Snow Mountain Ranch: This trail is located 15 miles from Downtown Yakima. Single track is only allowed in the lowlands and prohibited above the ditch bank. This is primarily a level, easy dirt trail, with some portions running along a small creek.

Naches Ranger District in the Cascade Mountains provides hundreds of miles of trails in varying length and difficulty for mountain bikers. Some of the trails are exclusively non-motorized, while others are shared use. There are more 30 trails listed. Be sure to check with the Naches Ranger District for current trail condition information. These are some local favorites but check out the others too!

  • Tieton River Nature Trail. This is an 8-mile out-and-back trip on an easy to intermediate trail adjacent to the Tieton River with three bridges to cross to access. The trail is on the other side of the river from Hwy 12 through an oak forest beneath towering basalt rock formations. This trail is used by hikers as well and allows dogs on leash so you may find some traffic.
  • Mount Clifty Trail #947: This is a difficult 5.6-mile motorcycle/single track trail, begining at Forest Road 1905 and ending at Manastash Ridge. There are several road crossings on the way down this heavily used motorized trail so be mindful of uphill traffic. There are two ways to get to Mt. Clifty. One trail is an easy ride through the forest and the other is trail that runs along a ridge with a difficult rock section. No matter which route you take, enjoy beautiful views of surrounding peaks.
  • Manastash Ridge Trail Southside. This is a 100% single track,15.5-mile loop considered intermediate with an elevation high of 3348 feet and low of 2686 feet. This is high desert with beautiful balsam root blooms in the spring. It can also be ridden in the winter when frozen.
  • Pyramid Peak Trail #941: This is an easy 15.3-mile trail for single-tread vehicles with easy access to several staging areas and campgrounds. All terrain and 4×4 vehicles are restricted but it’s open to hiking, horseback, biking and motorcycles. The trail winds through forested landscape to reveal views of the surrounding mountains. The trail begins at Forest Road 1900 and ends at Pyramid Peak.
  • Quartz Creek Trail #949: This is a more difficult 7-mile single track and motorcycle trail for the experienced rider. It begins at Forest Road 1903 and ends at Trail 688. It offers some exciting downhill in a cool, shaded forest.
  • Sand Creek Trail #963: The trail begins at Sand Creek and ends at Crow Creek Campground. The Lower Sand Creek Trail is know for Mountain biking.
  • Little Bald Mountain Trail #961 In the Cliffdell area, the Little Bald Mountain trail winds through scenic of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine and western larch. This is an easy 11-mile single track motorcycle and biking trail adjacent to Halfway Flats Campground.

Sign up for Expert-Led Mountain Biking Clinics and Lessons

If you’re new to mountain biking or looking to reach your next level, check out exceptional clinics and private lessons for beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert riding. Andy and Shannon Mahre of Mahre MADE and Girls with Grit host events through spring, summer and fall, addressing ascending, descending, shifting, cornering, jumping and drops, basic skills and track stands.

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